Deep Dive BuzzFeed

 I also left a review of my purchase.  It looks pretty glowing correct?  Any seller would love to get a review like this?.  But in truth, this review is potentially fatal to this seller, and a review like this could hurt ANY seller.  How?  Please listen to the video and I explain at the end why this review is actually poison. 

Deep Dive BuzzFeed

Let’s take  a deeper dive into Nicole Nguyen’s recent article seen here.  I purchased the ASIN , that’s an image of it on my desk (10-15-19). I’m going to speak about the seller, the product, and what this manipulation likely is. 

I think you’ll find that my assumptions are different and darker than Nicole’s.  This article and  the corresponding video are not about the manipulation of the Amazon Choice badge.  I have additional content that speaks to that.  

 Here I’m just focusing on the basic idea put forth by Nicole at Buzzfeed.  That is, that a 3rd party seller is incentivizing reviews to sell low-quality products to unwitting Amazon Buyers.   And that by having 100+ positive reviews that the seller is succeeding in that endeavor.

Financials and velocity profile for product pictured here. 

Sales Rank at Capture: 
# 5,384 in Cell Phones & Accessories
# 1,337 in Cell Phone Basic Cases
Single Unit Math
Sell Price $18.99
Cost of Goods:*$10.00
15 Referral Fee: $2.85
FBA Pick/Pack: $3.24
Inbound Ship: $0.20
Prep Required: $0.10
Net Proceeds: $2.60 
Seller is profiting $2.60 per unit, a 13.7% gross margin.
Monthly Velocity: 560 units x $18.99 = $9,684.90 gross
Net Amazon Fee’s:  $6,580.94 
Total Net $1456.00 per month.
Let’s put the information from above into context, and remember, that the product used by Buzzfeed is ranked as the the 1,337th most popular phone case on Amazon. What you see here are monthly sales velocity and units sold for the top 100 ranked Basic Cases.

719,280 units per month, $9,830,745.00 Monthly Revenue.   I have only highlighted a Samsung Case in this image to draw your attention the values that have acquired for the Top 100 Selling Cases

Recall, the product in Buzzfeed was ranked 1237 spots below these. Its sold less than 100 units to real amazon buyers.  Most of the buyers are likley from black-hat review groups that are aware that they get a $19.00 gift card.    So very few real-Amazon buyers actually bought the product. Its BSR of 1337 was its peak. It was only live for 60 days and likely spent 3-6 weeks coming from nowhere to even get to 1337. More people read the Buzzfeed article than actually bought this product. The entire thing is a sham. Including looping in  two United States Senators into this nonsense. Its embarrassing. For them and our country.

The Product Used by Buzzfeed has a Brand Name of SYDIXON.  The TM status of 1A indicates that it was an currently-in-use  TM, in the United States,  at the time of their 2015 registration.  They’re a China Based Manufacturer.  They basically can put any name they want on it though, because the product has No UP, or EAN, or GTIN.  Further, other than the outer carton. nothing inside the box says SYDIXON.   ns that I share in the corresponding video.   

The cleaning kit, the instructions, the FAQ,and installation card are all generic. If you change the Box, you can change the brand and you get what you see here. Exact Duplicates all over Amazon. Each with different Brand Name. Left to Right: SyDixon, GOLDUJ, Tendan , SyDixon, ANERNAI.

The product on the immediate left is the SyDixon ASIN from the BuzzFeed article, the 4th from the left is a SyDixon duplicate PDP (product detail page). It is 100% identical and 55 reviews are showing. SYDIXON is both a brand and a seller using the same name, although I have doubts that they’re related. SyDixon THE SELLER is not selling on the duplicate because they’re likely blocked due to high ODR (order defect rate).
The only reason that the duplicate SyDixon appears in the SERP, (Search Engine Results Page) , is that Amazon Warehouse is selling it used-like new for $9.00. Other than that, that listing would never appear in a SERP, unless a buyer uses faceted search with an OOS filter. (out of stock). I used a custom query to get the SERP result I wanted to see. Most buyers and sellers can’t replicate what I did to get this SERP. I only generated the SERP for demonstration purposes.

So, what is happening here?

1. These are staged by fraudsters that sell courses and services to failing sellers.

a. They create the illusion of being able to create a successful listing. 100 reviews, Amazon Choice Badge and BSR trend.
b. Then they sell courses and/or services to dreamers based upon these VERY LIVE and VERY REAL pages.
c. I discuss these tactics, and the dreamers, in the corresponding video below.

2. This a single Chinese seller with multiple buyer/seller accounts or a Ring of Sellers working together.

a. In 2017 Jeff Bezos, somewhat incredulously: OMG, we have 70,000 sellers doing more than $100,000.00!
b. To which I joked, Mr. Bezos’s, do you know that it’s the same 5000 people with 15 accounts each?
c. Bad Actors and Seller Rings use multiple accounts to dilute their product exposure. Amazon has possession of the products in their FC’s.
d. Bad Actors, Seller Rings, Hit-n-Run sellers use multiple accounts to limit their Dollar exposure. Amazon keeps any money when they deem a seller is a Bad Actor. Getting caught means forfeiture of funds per the Business Service Agreement every seller agrees to.
e. Bad Actors, Seller Rings, and Buyer Rings use multiple buyer accounts and seller accounts to defraud Amazon. Large problem for them Buyer/seller collusion.
f. If Amazon deems you a Bad Actor or a Ring, they keep your money and your product. Hence the multiple account tactics.

 I also left a review of my purchase.  It looks pretty glowing correct?  Any seller would love to get a review like this?.  But in truth, this review is potentially fatal to this seller, and a review like this could hurt ANY seller.  How?  Please listen to the video and I explain at the end why this review is actually poison. 

Update: SUNDAY 10/20/2019 11:35 PM EST. 

As I was putting this together, I was also waiting to see if my review was actually accepted.  Frequently, reviews left on same day as the item arrived are are automatically filtered out and/or go through deeper algorithmic and human review before they’re accepted and shown on the page.  My review was accepted.

I then sent my order number and screen shot to the seller: and I received a Amazon Gift Card Code within 36 hours.   When I placed it into Amazon, it actually gave me $20.00 , not $19.00. 

Here is what the P&L looks like now.   Safe to say, this seller is not manipulating the Amazon Choice badge to sell products profitably.  

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